The blog videos of former Supreme Court Justice Scouter and current Justice Scalia highlight two ways of framing the debate over Citizens United. Scouter noted that one's constitutional freedoms are only protected up to the point that they violate someone else's. He highlights the difference between liberty versus equality approaches to freedom of speech and cautions that allowing someone the liberty to unlimited free speech (campaign spending) increases the risk that other voices might be drowned out, or others' freedom of speech may be infringed upon. Unsurprisingly, Scalia focused entirely on the liberty side of that debate - the more speech the better. It seems to me that the ruling on Citizens United (as favored and voted for by Scalia) protects wealthy individuals' and groups' freedom of speech to such an extent that the average citizen's freedom of speech may be limited, as they are unlikely to be heard through the deafening noise of wealthy interest group's advertising.
Consider the Citizen United debate in relation to the Strolovich (2006) article about the significant obstacles for disadvantaged groups to gain representation in politics and policy making. The interest group organizations that are supposed to represent disadvantaged groups often fail to do so by focusing on middle class or moderate issues rather than the more difficult issues facing the extremely disadvantaged. Additionally, individuals with multiple disadvantaged identities are rarely represented, resulting in further marginalization. Further, social and economic justice organizations make up just a small percentage of the total interest groups; and now because of the ruling on Citizens United, the organizations with the largest interest group representation (corporations and business associations) have no limit to the amount of money they can put behind their own political interests. Chapter two of Mann and Ornstein's It's Even Worse Than It Looks (2012) highlights the notable changes already evident in politics from the Citizens United decision and the staggering amounts of money flowing in to influence election outcomes and policy in Washington.
Given the vast and growing income disparities in the US, how can unlimited political spending not impede the rights of the poor, their speech, and their representation? When social justice organizations are outnumbered, out funded, and often fail to represent those who are most marginalized, how do the interests of low-income or other disadvantaged groups have a chance of being represented in political decision making today?